Scary-good Writing Tips: Learn How to Write a Listicle

22 Apr 2024

Hey HackerNoon Fam,

In honor of spooky season, we want to share tricks & tips (see what we did there? No? pfft) for writing scary good stories on HackerNoon!

Our focus today is on Listicles.

Let’s get right to it!

Start Writing Your Listicle Today!

How to Write Winning Listicles on HackerNoon

In a world where we’re harassed by impossible choices at every turn, listicles are an invaluable resource that narrows our options and makes choosing easier. Unfortunately, today, the internet is filled with low-quality, spammy, promotional listicles. They all say these are the “best”, without any objective proof.

We don’t want spammy listicles at HackerNoon.

So, here are 6 steps to write a winning listicle:

  1. Identify your subject matter.

Start by pinpointing the specific topic or subject you want to cover with your listicle. This will serve as the central theme around which you'll build your list.

  1. Research. Research. Research.

Invest time and effort in thorough research to gather comprehensive information about your chosen subject. Your listicle's credibility depends on the quality of your research.

  1. Based on your research, clearly define your Selection criteria.

The key to a valuable listicle is clearly defining "why" your chosen items are featured. For instance, in a list like "Top 10 travel destinations," explain your selection criteria—such as trip cost, safety, accommodation quality, and more. This ensures transparency and credibility.

  1. Decide whether you’re working on a ranked or unranked listicle.

Determine if you'll be ranking the items in your list (e.g., "Top 10") or presenting them without a specific order (e.g., "15 Must-Try Recipes").

  1. Based on your research & selection criteria, decide the order of your listicle i.e. ascending or descending.

If you're creating a ranked listicle, decide whether the items will be presented in ascending order (e.g., from 10 to 1) or descending order (e.g., from 1 to 10). Your choice should align with your selection criteria.

  1. Start writing your listicle!

Make sure to maintain a consistent format, tone, and style.

For more context, here are some really good listicles on HackerNoon:

1. Top 15 AI Companies Hiring in 2023 - by Salary Range

The title of the article immediately reveals the specific ranking criterion used, which in this case is the "Salary Range." The author has meticulously curated a well-researched list featuring 15 AI companies actively hiring at the time of publication. These companies are thoughtfully arranged in descending order, starting with the highest salary range at OpenAI and concluding with the lowest salary range at Weights & Biases.

  1. The Tom Holland Spider-Man Movies in Order of Release Date

This is self-explanatory. The author of this article has ordered all of Tom Holland’s Spiderman movies in order of their release dates. Side note: This is one of the best-performing articles on HackerNoon. S/O listicles!

  1. Top 10 Machine Learning Optimized Graphics Cards

In this article, the author ranks the top 10 Machine Learning Optimized Graphic Cards based on meticulously researched ranking criteria including computing power, GPU memory, support & compatibility with machine learning frameworks.

Ready to get cracking? Write your Winning Listicle here.

HackerNoon Mobile App Review Contest Extended for a Month

Last month, to celebrate the dedicated community that made the HackerNoon Mobile App launch possible, we announced a review contest where users stand a chance to win $1000. If you haven’t heard or gotten a chance to share your review, don’t worry, we’ve decided to keep the contest open for an extra month! Follow these steps and win big! Good luck!

Take Full Advantage of Your HackerNoon Profile Page

Did you know that you can add brand or personal ads as massive CTAs on your profile page, just like in the image below?

No? Well, it’s really easy. Here’s all you need to do:

  • Click on the edit button, right above your display name, on your profile page.
  • This will direct you to the page below where you can update your Call to Action Text & Call to Action Link.


That’s all from us for today. For more writing tips visit the HackerNoon Editing Protocol.

Have a great day!